Interview tips: Take the menace out of media calls

It’s nearing October and pumpkin spice is popping up on menus everywhere. We detect a slight chill in the air, but that could just be wishful thinking in sunny San Diego. Halloween is just around the corner and things are starting to feel a little bit ~spooky~…

The Halloween vibes have us thinking about the scariest part of PR for our clients… INTERVIEWS! Does the word alone give you the heebie-jeebies? Well then sit with us for a few minutes and let’s review some Intesa media coaching tips that will help you take on interviews with confidence.

preparing for an interview

Preparation is crucial to a successful interview. Good interview preparation will have you feeling confident and makes it much more likely that you provide the reporter with what they’re looking for- win-win! It’s a good idea to connect with the reporter before an interview to get an idea of what they’re looking for and what their expectations are. Remember that just because it’s not called an interview, doesn’t mean the conversation is off the record. Ask the reporter what the story is about, what they hope to get out of your interview, and what other assets might be helpful to them. Let the reporter know that you’re there to help!

practice, practice, practice!

There’s no substitute for this old stand-by advice. The best ways to take the fright out of something is to do it until it’s familiar. So practice a lot. Practice with different people and in various environments. Make sure to practice out loud, as you’re sure to make (and learn from) more mistakes when practicing out loud than practicing in your head. We can assure you, as professionals, that no matter how bored your cat appears, they are happy to be your sounding board.

don’t be ~afraid~ to set boundaries

As Intesa Founding Partner Margie Newman always says, “Period. Not comma.” When you are acting as a source for media, you only want to provide information that you are confident in. Any question you don’t feel prepared to answer, feel free to respond with a helpful, “I’m not prepared to talk about that today, but I’d be happy to help you find the answer.” This sets a clear boundary, but also lets the reporter (and the audience, if you’re quoted) know that you’re doing your best to provide the most accurate information.

At Intesa, we make it a priority to work on public speaking preparation that gives our clients confidence in themselves and their performance. From talking points to interview pointers, we make sure our clients are interview-ready to help make the most out of media opportunities.

If you’d like some professional media coaching, who you gonna call? In-tesa!

(Duh-nuh-nuh Nuh-nuh)

Image credit: “Scream” (1996)

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